Why I Joined Torq – Aner Izraeli

Aner Izraeli is Torq’s Director of Security. Read on as he walks through his career path and all the events and experiences that impacted his decision to join Torq.

I’ve spent the past decade building and leading Security Operations for organizations, sometimes as a service provider consulting for customers, and sometimes in house – responsible for every aspect of our security stack.  Now, I’m proud to have joined Torq, where we’re making it as easy as possible for every security team to transform their operations with no-code automation. 

In my early days at ArcSight, , we were working on the very first correlation rules based on anti-virus and device control. Back then, rules for mitigation were mostly manual – automation and security didn’t mix.  SOAR tools hadn’t entered the market yet, and to create any automation around a security process took a herculean effort.  I was lucky, since I’d taken a .NET course. Those development skills allowed me to solve integration problems we faced in security, and then move on to building automation.- With these skills, I was able to solve a problem once, then build automation moving forward – which freed up my time, and the team’s time, to focus on new problems and continually improving our security.

Later on, I had the privilege of working for Outbrain, sharing our Journey Towards an Automated SOC – outlining how security operations could be largely automated using a combination of a Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) platform, a Security Intelligence and Event Management (SIEM) tool, and of course, extensive use of development resources. We knew embracing automation was critical for us to meet our mandate – it was the only way we could deliver protection at the speed our organization was moving. We were pioneers in engaging employees through an automated incident response cycle.

In my last role in Intezer, a fully cloud-based company, our team implemented a zero trust model to access all sensitive data. Any data store containing PII was accessible only upon request. To enforce this, we built and deployed an internal tool for users to request access via Slack. (The tool is published as open-source, as you can find it here)

After an authorization process with Directory service, the access request would be granted in real-time for a specified period. The user’s privileges would be revoked at the end of the requested access period, preventing further access. This gave us the perfect balance – stronger protection via zero trust and security that worked at the speed of the business with just-in-time access.

Building this was an engineering project – the tool was written in python – and it consumed time and focus across multiple teams. From start to finish, it took over a month for us to create and deploy the tool to our internal users.

Did the automation help? Definitely. Did it improve our security? Absolutely. 

But like any organization – we tackled dozens (if not hundreds) of manual processes – and spending a month or more to automate each one just wasn’t sustainable.

With Torq, I could’ve achieved the same results in less time. Significantly less – from opening up a new workflow editor to publishing the workflow for use takes minutes. So instead of consuming analyst and (my) developer time for a month’s worth of building and testing – you’re in production on the first day. Your first dozen processes are automated by the end of your first week.
(Want a fun fact? A day before I joined Torq, the team posted Automated Just-In-Time permissions Using JumpCloud + Torq – solving that exact same use case!)

As a security leader – I’m focused on the things that make the biggest impact to our overall security posture and operations.  Spending my time, or my team’s time on development – that isn’t one of those things. It’s just not the job of security.  In today’s world of APIs and integrations – there’s no reason for security teams to struggle with automation, or to need to invest in development.  I’ve built out Torq’s security operations rapidly – without writing a line of code.  That’s the promise Torq makes, and what we deliver.

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